Patilias Gamato

​Committee to monitor elections

“The functions of the Election Advisory Committee (EAC) are to provide recommendations and advice on matters relating to cancelation and withdrawal of writ for an election, if circumstances prevailing in an electorate are such that a proper conduct of an election is not practicable,” Gamato said.

The three-member EAC, to be appointed by the Governor-General, will comprise of the Chief Ombudsman Commissioner (or his nominee) and two other persons – a nominee by the board of Transparency International (PNG) Incorporated and a retired judge or lawyer.

Ballot papers still being held in POM

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said, “ballot papers will be unpacked and repacked in the coming weeks according to enrolment figures for each electorate, LLG and wards.

“They will be dispatched two weeks prior to commencement of polling on 24th June.”

All ballot papers since arriving from Indonesia have been kept at an undisclosed location.

The 2017 National Election campaign period will end on June 23, followed by 14 days of polling.  

Gamato said, PNG Electoral Commission projected a voter turnout of 4.7 million eligible voters.

Electoral Commission expects 4.7 million people to vote

“In 2012, a total of 4.7 million registered on the (Electoral) Roll,” Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said.   

“For 2017, PNGEC is projecting some 5.1 million or 5.2 million eligible voters based on the 3.1 per cent annual average growth rate of PNG population as posted by National Statistical Office.

“Out of the 4.7 million registered voters in 2012, only 3.7 million actually cast their votes.

“Therefore, in 2017, PNGEC is projecting that out of the 5.1 million or 5.2 million eligible voters, only 4.7 million may actually cast their votes.”

Gamato withdraws appeal in Supreme Court

This now confirms that David Wakias will remain as Southern Highlands Provincial Election Manager as per the Waigani National Court’s judicial review decision of March 17, and the Electoral Commission will no longer challenge it in the Supreme Court.

Electoral Commission's lawyer was granted leave by Justice Collin Makail during the Supreme Court directions hearing.

Gamato's lawyers were ordered to file notices of discontinuance within the next 7 days.

This appeal was filed by Gamato and the Electoral Commission challenging the National Court decision of 17 March.

Supreme Court stays Knight’s dismissal

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia this afternoon stayed the decision of the Leadership Tribunal on May 1, 2015 that recommended his dismissal from office, following the tribunal’s finding of guilt on him on March 20, 2015.

He ordered that the state and Electoral Commission including its officers or agents, permit Ronny Knight to nominate to contest the elections.

In light of this decision, Loop PNG was informed by Knight that he will be nominating tomorrow.

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato also confirmed with this newsroom that Knight can nominate to contest.

Gamato clarifies Jiwaka PRO status

The intending candidates claimed that the Provincial Returning Officer Rossie Pandihau had been changed by Deputy Administrator Stefan Husik at the 11th hour.

They are claiming that the new PRO could not have been gazetted and so there is a question of whether or not any decision he makes, such as accepting nominations of intending candidates is legally binding.

However, Gamato clarified that the changes were not made at the 11th hour as the changes were made on March 30, 2017.

K80m received for 2017 Elections

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato confirmed during the issue of Writs that the Commission has so far spent over K50 million.

Gamato said some of the funds have been committed and will be used up.

In terms of awareness, much of the cost is going towards publishing posters to be distributed across the country.

“The awareness posters have been distributed to all the election managers in the provinces to be put up in the electorates for the public to see.

Sitting MPs’ terms expire after return of Writs

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato confirmed today after the issue of Writs that the sitting members are currently still members of parliament.

"The term of the current members of parliament expires when the Writs are returned to the Governor General," Gamato said.

However, a caretaker cabinet is yet to be announced.

The caretaker cabinet will allow for the 111 MPs, including the Prime Minister, to be given the opportunity to nominate and campaign.

Nominations will run for a week, followed by eight weeks of campaigning.

Papers’ security will not be compromised: EC

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato made this comment after PNGEC would not disclose the location of the 11 containers of ballot papers.

“They will be under tight guard by Police and Army in a secured place,” Gamato told Loop PNG last week.  

The Electoral Commissioner said in the next one-and-a-half months, the ballot papers will be unpacked from the containers, repacked according to enrolment numbers for each provinces, and dispatched two weeks prior to the commencement of polling on June 24.

2017 election process to start this Thursday

When the writs are issued, the 7-day nomination period, for intending candidates contesting the 111 seats in the National Parliament, will open.

PNG Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato told Loop PNG this morning that preparation is on target and an official statement will be released this afternoon.

“We are ready,” Gamato said.        

The election nomination period will close at 4pm on April 27.

There will be 8 weeks of campaign period, from 20 April – 23 June.

Polling will run from 24 June – 8 July, followed by the counting period.